On May 5th we arrived at our port in Barcelona, Spain. We were feeling tired from the previous two days of lots of walking. We had planned on riding the Hop On Hop Off Bus in Barcelona which made for an easier day.
Barcelona, population 1.6 million, is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea. As with any large city, there is always the chance of petty crime, in particular pickpockets. We had heard stories from other travelers and we were on guard, but experienced no problems.
The day began somewhat stressful. The ship arrived an hour later than planned and when we arrived at the terminal there was a very long line waiting to buy bus tickets. After buying those tickets we learned we had to stand in another line to get a different ticket for a shuttle bus to take us from the port several miles to the location of the Hop On buses.
The Christopher Columbus stands a 24 ft tall bronze statue atop a 131 ft tall Corinthian column. The statue said to depict Columbus pointing towards the New World.
Then there was a huge line waiting for the shuttle buses and then once we got into Barcelona, another long line to board the Hop On buses. We learned there were five cruise ships in port today with over 16,000 cruise passengers wanting to visit the city.
Our perseverance paid off. When the next Hop On bus arrived, the bus was miraculously empty. We were the first ones on and were able to grab prime seats on the top deck. We contentedly rode the orange-line bus around the city snapping pictures from the top deck.
This stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain was originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition in the city. It was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The Olympic torch is on the left of the entrance.
As we passed the most popular attractions we could see long lines everywhere. We saw nothing we wanted to see bad enough to give up our great seats. We had visited Barcelona in 2016 on a month long bus tour of Europe and had already visited many of the top tourist attractions.
This time we were able to see many parts of Barcelona we had not seen before such as different residential and shopping areas. The best way to share our day is with pictures. The architecture is exquisite. We liked Barcelona very much but prefer a small town like Cartagena with much less people and less traffic.
The Las Arenas de Barcelona bullring was inaugurated in 1900 and was the second of 3 bullfighting rings built in Barcelona. Closed in 1977, then converted it into a shopping canter and entertainments complex.
Eventually we needed lunch and a restroom so we saw several possible places for lunch and hopped off at the next stop. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch sitting outside surrounded by plenty of pigeons, hoping for a handout.
After lunch we walked around the square while enjoying the beautiful day. As luck would have it we walked right by a Hard Rock Cafe where Bill got a “Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona” tee shirt. A miracle we came upon it considering the size of the city. We then hopped back on the bus for the last part of the bus tour. Getting the shuttle bus back to the ship was much easier in the afternoon. After logging over five miles on our watches, we were glad to get back on the ship and relax.
Next stop: Toulon, France